YANGON, Myanmar -- If Suu Kyi's ascent is perceived as too threatening, there is greater risk that the military will continue to exploit anti-Muslim hostility in order to destabilize the post-election climate. And despite her numerous pro-democracy accolades, Suu Kyi has refused to speak in defense of the Rohingya Muslims and recently warned foreign media not to "exaggerate" their plight.
The smiling faces of Burmese voters demonstrate an exuberant nation prepared for a new era of democracy and political freedom. The smiling faces of Burmese voters, however, also hide the tragic reality for many in Myanmar -- the continued exclusion and persecution of Muslims, especially the Rohingya people.
Burma now has a hybrid system of military rule and democracy. It's democracy on a leash. The victims of human rights abuses can't wait for a hoped slow transition. They need genuine democracy, and they need it now. For them it is, quite literally, a matter of life and death. It isn't time to celebrate yet.